Being that it’s 2016, you may have never heard of The Mustache Gang, a term coined for the 1972 Oakland Athletics’ baseball team that broke the traditionally conservative baseball views by sporting mustaches during the regular season.
Here’s a brief history lesson on how the Gang come to fruition.
Reggie Jackson showed up to spring training with a mustache claiming he would have a fully grown beard at the start of the regular season. He was told to shave it, so Reggie, naturally, suggested that the team shove it. A’s owner Charlie Finley took to reverse-psychology, knowing Reggie thought of himself as an individual, and asked A’s pitchers Jim “Catfish” Hunter, Rollie Fingers, Darold Knowles and Bob Locker to all grow a mustache, too. It completely backfired and lead to the birth of The Mustache Gang, which not only spread across the team even further, but across 1970s-era baseball.
In that same spirit comes current A’s pitcher Daniel Mengden, a fourth-round draft pick of the Houston Astros from Texas A&M who blew through the minors faster than Bill Clinton through an intern reunion party. The 23-year-old was later acquired by the A’s in the Scott Kazmir trade, thus bringing him to a place where the sexually dynamic Mustachioed American lifestyle flourishes like nowhere else.
And after posting a 1.19 ERA in 11 starts between Double-A and Triple-A, striking out 67 batters in 68 1/3 innings this season, Oakland called Mengden and his lower nose canopy up to the bigs in late May.
“We’ve been watching and working with him,” said Dr. Julio Del Puedo, the American Mustache Institute’s director of performance enhancing technologies. “Much like we’ve witnessed with Jake Arrieta, Daniel’s labia sebucula (Latin for “lip sweater”) is doing what it needs to do, and we are ensuring it gets the proper supplements and moisturizers to maintain its power.”
In the spirit of Mustache Hall of Famer Rollie Fingers, Mengden and his handlebar stache put together an impressive first two starts. Mixing pitches effectively by using his curveball and a surprising fastball that’s reached 98 miles per hour, the hurler has a splendid 2.25 ERA.
“Mengden was terrific,” said A’s bare-faced mortal manager Bob Melvin, inexplicably making no reference to the mouth brow. “He put together two outings, like that typically you’re 2-0, maybe a no decision in a game like this, on the other side a well-pitched game. It’s unfortunate that you pitch that well, and we waste two pitching performances that he’s given us for the first two outings of his career.”
Mengden looks poised to revive The Mustache Gang once again, which data would suggest could propel the A’s to a much-desired championship that GM Billy Beane’s system may produce with the appropriate performance enhancers.